Indigenous Student Success and Resources

Welcome Message to Our Indigenous Students

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge we are gathered upon the ancestral lands of the Seattle area’s Federally Recognized Indian Tribe – the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, who historically lived throughout the areas between the Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound, what is also known as the Salish Sea. Muckleshoot is party to both the Medicine Creek and Point Elliot Treaties. These treaties reserve governmental rights to the Muckleshoot people and recognize their “Usual and Accustomed Territory”, where they hunt, fish, gather, trade, govern, and live. These areas include DiDelaliV, (Dz-zah-lah-luch), what is now known as the city of Seattle and surrounding region. * DiDelaliV, (Dz-zah-lah-luch)- is the traditional Muckleshoot place name for Seattle and means: the shaking ground place.

Today Muckleshoot celebrates and honors their culture by practicing and preserving their traditional language and heritage. They’re also educating their youth, and providing housing, healthcare, elder programs, Veteran’s resources, and many other vital programs to their members.
As the second largest employer in South King County, Muckleshoot directly or indirectly supports thousands of jobs in this region and spends millions of dollars annually on hundreds of charitable and community contributions.

Muckleshoot remains a strong Sovereign Nation and are invaluable contributors to our state history, identity, economy, and culture.

- Muckleshoot Indian Tribe (2021)

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Native American Peer Navigator

Green River College created a peer navigator position to navigate and provide services and resources for the Indigenous student population. This year, Tehya has been involved with NASO and assumed a leader role within the organization. If you have any questions contact Tehya Jackson.

Native American Student Organization (NASO)

NASO is a student organization that strives for an interactive campus experience that promotes Native Indigenous excellence and leadership. Through educational workshops, cultural events, and transformative experiences, NASO creates a space for Native students to bring awareness and welcome those who are not connected to Tribal communities or lifestyle. The organization is collaborative and seeks innovative ways to enhance the voice and presence on Green River’s campus. 

Students of Color Conference (SOCC)

The Students of Color Conference aims to support and encourage Washington State students to become more active proponents of their own education and life choices and expand on opportunities and possibilities for students to become agents of change. (SOCC, 2020)

Native American Student Success Summit

NSSS was founded at Highline College in 2016 through the leadership of Native educators and leaders from educational systems throughout the South King County area. Native Student Success Summit is designed to inspire and empower high school and college students to be successful in higher education and beyond.

Instructional Technology (IT)

Associates of Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T)

  • Cybersecurity & Networking
  • Data Analytics & Software Development

Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)

  • Cybersecurity & Networking
  • Software Development

Tim Mason –
Katie Markham –

Early Childhood Education

Associates of Applied Science (AAS)
Associates of Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T)
Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)
Leslie Kessler –

Carpentry Technology

Associates of Applied Science – Residential and Light Commercial
Muckleshoot Pre-Apprenticeship Carpentry Program
Robert Bean –
Genevieve Corrin –


Natural Resources

Holistic and Cultural Approach to managing Natural Resources
Jessyka Williams –


English 2xx U.S. Indigenous Literatures
A focus on the literary, oral, and cultural traditions of U.S. indigenous communities, including Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders. Course involves critically reading and interpreting important literary genres including non/fiction, drama, poetry, autobiography, critical essays, and epistolary works which can also be situated in other cultural narrative genres such as songs/chants/music, dance narratives, film and documentary. Additionally, this course incorporates a study of historical, political, and cultural texts to contextualize the works. Examines how Native American writers combine tradition and contemporary ways to develop innovative forms of expression.

Tribal Scholarships

Financial Aid

GRC Financial Aid Liaison
Nicole Robbins –


Workforce Education

Workforce Education at Green River College provides funding for students in Career & Technical programs. The funding programs include Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET), Workfirst, Opportunity Grant, and Worker Retraining. For more information, visit Workforce Education or email


A student support service for first generation, low income, and/or students with disabilities. Their mission is to increase opportunities for academic success through educational planning, transfer advising, tutoring, scholarship and financial aid resources. For more information visit TRiO’s website or email

Green River Foundation Scholarships

Green River Foundation has an application process for Scholarship eligibility that can assist student financially with tuition, books, and required supplies. The scholarships are divided into five categories: Program, Merit, Need based, General and Transfer scholarships.


  • World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) -
  • American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) -
    • Puget Sound Professional Council (AISES)
  • National Indian Education Association (NIEA) -
  • National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) -
  • National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) -
  • Washington State Faculty & Staff of Color Conference (FSOCC) - Annual conference held in October. Designed for faculty and staff of color who are employed with Washington State’s Community & Technical Colleges.
  • Western Washington Native American Education Consortium Conference  -

Visit the Holman Library's Native American & Indigenous Studies Guide

  • Information about Native American Heritage
  • Reading suggestions
  • Web Sources
  • Online Streaming Videos
  • Search strategies

Leander Yazzie, Ed.D. (Navajo/Dine) Tribal Relations Manager
Tribal Pathways Manager (Natural Resources) - Alejandra (Lopez)
Vacant, Tribal Pathways Manager
Devon Williams, (Fort McKay First Nation) TRiO Advisor

Tribal Relations Manager, Indigenous Student Success - Leander Yazzie, Ed.D., Navajo (Diné)

Leander Yazzie, Ed.D. is a member of the Navajo Nation, originally from Fort Defiance, Arizona.

Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water),
Born for Tó’aheedlííníí (Water Flows Together),
Maternal grandfather is of the Tábaahá (Water’s Edge),
Paternal grandfather is of the Tsénjíkíní (Honey Combed Rock People of the Cliff Dwellers)

Throughout Leander’s career in Higher education, he has persistently advocated for Native American students within Washington State by attending state community and technical college (CTC) meetings and conferences. Leander has also facilitated Native American student, faculty, and staff groups at annual Student of Color Conference and the Faculty & Staff of Color Conferences.

Serves as one of the founding members of Washington State American Indian Indigenous Studies Advisory Board (WACAAB) and Chair of GRC’s Native American Working Group (NAWG).

View "Why Wait" Campaign Video, 2018 

Arizona State University, B.A., Sociology/B.S. American Indian Studies
University of Oklahoma, Master of Human Relations
University of Washington-Tacoma, Doctor of Educational Leadership
U.S. Army Veteran (Operation Iraqi Freedom)

Tribal Pathways Manager (Natural Resources) - Alejandra (Lopez)

Academic/career support to Native American students as they prepare and are enrolled in Green River College’s Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, with an emphasis on students in the Natural Resources program through the CEDAR project, a collaborative project with Muckleshoot Tribal College.

TRiO Student Support Educational Planner - Devon Williams, Fort McKay First Nations

Club/Organization staff support


Tribal Relations Manager - Student Success

Leander Yazzie, Ed.D.

SA 218